On the Venezuelan plains, the vengeful ghost of La Sayona hunts down cheating men that don’t get from it alive. She is cursed to make her revenge on them after she murdered her whole family.

La Sayona is a Venezuelan ghost story about the vengeful spirit of a woman haunting the roads, the jungle as well as the Venezuelan plains. She is after cheating men and appears mostly on the roads, asking men for a ride on the vast Venezuelan plains known as Los Llanos. 

Read all of the ghost stories at haunted roads here:

When the man she has chosen as her victim is looking more closely at her, her face is just a skull with terrible teeth. Her name La Sayona is referring to the type of clothes the ghost is supposedly wearing and is a long white dress, and referred to a medieval undergarment. It basically means something along the lines of ‘Sackclothed Woman’. 

This is an old legend in Venezuela, similar to many women in white ghost stories from Europe with a hint of The Vanishing Hitchhiker urban legend mixed in with it today. She is also somewhat similar to other vengeful ghosts from across the globe, like the Japanese Onryo or the Korean Virgin Ghost.

Most similar though, will she be of other South American legends about vengeful women on a mission in their afterlife and the story of La Sayona is often mixed with the famous La llorona legend from Mexico. Especially because in these legends, the woman was the violent one. She is also a part of Colombian folklore that has its own spin to it that we will come back to later.

Read the about the Mexican legend of La Llorona

La Llorona

La Llorona is a famous Mexican folk tale. It align itself with other similar legend of the scorned woman, the woman in white and the weeping woman.

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The Legend of La Sayona 

In the legend of La Sayona there supposedly was a woman named Casilda that lived on the Venezuelan plains in a small town were life was peaceful and without much to worry about. She was the prettiest girl in town and married to a loving husband. Together they had a son and it seemed like she had a perfect life together with her family. But that was all surfaced level though as she had one fault, she was violently jealous. 

Once, Casilda was swimming in a river near the village naked where a man from the village spotted her. She told him to get lost and leave her alone, but the man didn’t listen. He would start to follow her and watch her bathing in the river. He then told her that he was there to warn her and said her husband was having an affair with her mother. It was nothing more than a rumor from a random man watching her bathe, but the rumor filled her with an immense rage so she couldn’t think clearly. 

File:Llanos3.jpg
Wet Season: La Sayona is known to roam on the Venezuelan plains in search for cheating men she can punish as part of her eternal curse. // Photo: Haroldarmitage

Casilda then ran home to her husband and found him inside the house with their son sleeping in his arms. She was blinded by rage and set the house on fire without asking him for the truth. The villagers heard their screams as both the husband and the son burned to death inside the house. 

Meanwhile, Casilda was on her way to her mother’s house that sat on her patio. She would not get the chance to explain either as Casilda attacked her own mother with a machete and stabbed her to death in the stomach. 

The mother bled slowly to death, but not before she managed to curse her daughter. She told Casilda that from then on she would avenge all of the women with cheating husbands. And whether her mother and husband really had an affair, she would never get an answer to, driving her mad.  

She was from then on known as La Sayona that hunts cheating men by conquering them and then killing them. 

The Different Variations of the Legend

There are many variations to this tale today in Venezuela as well as the rest of South America. She sometimes shapeshifts to animals or even monsters or sends out a scream almost like a Banshee that can be heard from a long distance. The variations of the legends have all in common that it is the men who has to pay the ultimate price of her wreath.  

The legend of La Sayona is also grouped together with several ghost stories about female spirits haunting the roads and highways after men to take their anger out on. Much like in the case with the story of La Descarnada of the Highway.

illustration of orange sedan

La Descarnada of the Highway

On the highway in El Salvador, be vary of who you stop for along the way. Especially beautiful women that asks for a ride to a nearby place. It might very well be the vengeful spirit of La Descarnada.

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In some versions of the legend, La Sayona comes out from the jungle where men are working. She comes when the men are talking about sex or about women they left behind. When she appears she either takes form as a beautiful woman or a loved one and manages to lure them into the forest were she has her revenge. There she devours them in an animal-like shape or mangles them, and leaves their body for the rest of them to see as a warning. 

In the Colombian version from the plains, they tell that La Sayona was a beautiful woman named Sarona that turned into a monster. In this legend she was not really a violent woman, but a cursed one nonetheless.

She lived as a normal person until she ruined the holy clothes of a priest and was punished for her sin. God condemned her to live an eternity of great hunger because of this. She turned from a beautiful woman to a monster with big teeth and eyes and with an appetite for human flesh.

Sarona’s punishment was something she couldn’t control and she was consumed by it. In her hunger she then devoured her own brother before escaping out on the lonely plains in Columbia where she lives more like beast than man. She comes at dawn and takes drunk men wandering alone she devours. 

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References

Sayona – Wikipedia

La Sayona – Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

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